Stormy Daniels and the criminal indictment of Donald Trump

Last week Palmer Report raised the question of why, even as the Manhattan District Attorney has empaneled a grand jury to criminally indict Donald Trump on state charges with the assistance of the New York Attorney General’s office, the Feds at the SDNY still don’t appear to be moving forward with their long-established campaign finance case against Trump. Now Stormy Daniels is speaking up about the matter, revealing that she’s eager to help prosecutors take Trump down, but that they haven’t spoken to her yet.

So why is the Manhattan DA using Michael Cohen as a witness against Trump, but not using Stormy Daniels as a witness against Trump? The most logical explanation is that while prosecutors are pursuing criminal charges against Trump for numerous financial crimes (all of which Cohen witnessed), they’re not pursuing charges against Trump for the one specific crime that Daniels witnessed, which was campaign finance fraud.

This makes logical sense when you consider that campaign finance fraud is a federal crime not a state crime, and that as things currently stand, it’s only New York State that’s currently in the process of indicting Trump, and not the Feds. The only thing New York can do with the Stormy Daniels scandal is to criminally charge Trump for the underlying financial fraud that helped lead to Trump’s payoff, and that wouldn’t directly involve Daniels.

This further raises the question of why the Feds at the SDNY aren’t pursuing a largely already-investigated slam dunk criminal case against Donald Trump for campaign finance fraud. They went so far as to indict Cohen for it years ago, while identifying Trump as the co-conspirator “Individual-1.” Now they appear to be doing nothing. Even Richard Signorelli, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney at the SDNY, says he’s confused about what is (or isn’t) happening at SDNY.

We’ve written a lot about why SDNY might be waiting, or might be deferring to the Manhattan DA. In any case, Donald Trump is now on a glide path to prison at the hands of the Manhattan DA, regardless of what SNDY does or doesn’t do. But it’s still notable and potentially concerning that with Stormy Daniels and Michael Cohen both eager to testify against Trump in a federal criminal case against Trump, one still isn’t being brought. We may not get answers about what the Feds are doing until after the Manhattan DA finishes indicting Trump.

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